HCCI’s latest stats also show that health care spending grew nearly three and a half percent in 2014 alone, with most of that increase going to brand name drugs – a $45 jump in per-person spending! The cost of prescriptions went up - even though we used nearly 16% fewer brand prescriptions than in 2013. Women are feeling the pinch the hardest; out-of-pocket spending on prescriptions by women has been higher than spending by men every year since 2010.
With prescription spending high and statistics showing a steady rate of increase over the past five years, it’s time to take constructive steps to manage your prescription costs.
Take steps to reduce your prescription costs
- Adults under 64 were nearly twice as likely as adults older than 65 to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
- Among adults under age 64, uninsured adults were more likely than those with Medicaid or private coverage to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
- The poorest adults were the most likely to not take medication as prescribed to reduce prescription spending
- Some adults ameliorate their prescription costs by reducing the dosage and frequency recommended
- Ask your doctor if a less expensive but equally effective medication is available. For example, there are time-released brand name drugs prescribed to treat ADHD that can cost 10 to 20 times more per month than the non-time-released version of Ritalin
- Buy generic versions of drugs whenever your doctor/pharmacist agrees to this cost-saving alternative to name brand drugs
- Use the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or FamilyWize smartphone app, available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, or the Windows Store - this can save you as much as 75% off the cost of your prescriptions, and guarantees you'll get the lowest price
- See if you may qualify for free preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - the right preventive care can sometimes keep you from needing a prescription at all
- If you are on Medicare, use the Medicare National Mail-Order Program, which not only saves on ongoing prescription costs, but on gas money as well
- If you receive insurance through your work, check to see if your employer has a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefit, which can save you as much as 30% yearly on out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Check your mail’s weekly ad flyers and coupon books, which may have neighborhood drug store discounts on prescription drugs
- Join your pharmacy’s loyalty program if they have one
- Use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool, which can help you compare prices at different pharmacies in your area